• New streetscape spurs downtown turnaround

    In Lancaster, California, a simple change in street design was a catalyst for economic and social activity.
    The City of Lancaster, California, converted a drab, automobile-oriented arterial at the heart of downtown into a lively, pedestrian-friendly center. The nine-block makeover of Lancaster Boulevard has become a regional draw and attracted significant economic development in its first two years. In a...Read more
  • Macy's closings—another bad sign for malls

    The announcement creates holes in enclosed shopping malls—meanwhile the department store chain is looking to open downtown locations.
    Macy's is closing 100 stores nationwide —and the vast majority are located in auto-centric suburban shopping malls. Amid these closures, the department store chain reported that it looking at opening three downtown stores in New York, Chicago, and Minneapolis. In many ways, we are seeing a reversal...Read more
  • A dead mall becomes a downtown for a sprawling suburb

    Although Lakewood, Colorado, is the fifth largest city in the state, until the last decade the city had no true downtown. Instead, the Denver suburb boasted one of the country’s largest indoor shopping malls, built in the 1960s—but by 2000, that mall was largely vacant. That mall has been converted...Read more
  • The first suburban retrofit gets a neighborhood

    After two decades, Mashpee Commons is moving forward with 300-plus residential units, more shops, and civic spaces with support from the regional planning authority.
    Transformation of the former New Seabury Shopping Center in Mashpee, Massachusetts, into a town center began 30 years ago. The early-1960s strip mall at the intersection of two state highways on Cape Cod was fading and needed refurbishment. Mashpee, a suburban municipality located between two older...Read more